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Chyle is a milky bodily fluid consisting of lymph and emulsified fats, or free fatty acids (FFAs). It is formed in the small intestine during digestion of fatty foods, and taken up by lymph vessels specifically known as lacteals. The relative low pressure of the lacteals allows large fatty acid molecules to diffuse into them, whereas the higher pressure in veins allows only smaller products of digestion, like amino acids and sugars, to diffuse into the blood directly.[1][2]


A chyle fistula is a leakage of lymphatic fluid from the lymphatic vessels, typically accumulating in the thoracic or abdominal cavities. [3]

Treatment of chyle fistula: Intraoperative recognition of a thoracic duct injury is managed by ligation of the duct. This is because direct repair is impractical owing to the extreme friability of the thoracic duct.


See also: chylomicron

  1. ^ Magendie, Par F. Elementary Treatise on Human Physiology originally published in French 1838, translated into English and published 1855 by Harper Brothers, New York
  2. ^ Lipid Transport and Digestion
  3. ^ Tessier, Deron J , MD, Chyle fistula eMedicine; Jan 10, 2008; accessed Feb 2008

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